John Yorke writes in his book Into the Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them that “Art is born out of as well as encapsulates the continuing battle between order and chaos.” Yorke also quotes Nietzsche who said, “Art owes its continuous evolution to the Apollonian-Dionysian duality.” In other words, we need both order and chaos for our art to remain vital. But why?
In Writing with Power Peter Elbow says:
“To write is to overcome a certain resistance: you are trying to wrestle a steer to the ground, to wrestle a snake into a bottle, to overcome a demon that sits in your head. To succeed in writing or making sense is to overpower that steer, that snake, that demon.”
But he also warns that “if, in your struggles to write, you actually break its back, you are in trouble … In transforming that resistant force into a limp noodle, somehow you turn your words into limp noodles, too. Somehow the force that is fighting you is also the force that gives life to your words.”
The bottle, or form, can be a sonnet, haiku, play, essay, etc. A snake, or chaos, by its nature doesn’t like being in a bottle but that’s where it needs to go. How else can we express ourselves but in form?